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Narwhal Imperial Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Narwhal Imperial StoutNarwhal Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,763 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,763
Reviews: 686
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 192
Gots: 700 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 10-14-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,763 | Reviews: 686 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrRockstar
4/5  rDev -3.6%

MrRockstar, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of MSandahl23
4/5  rDev -3.6%

MSandahl23, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of BPudd
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

BPudd, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of DeschutesFan
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

DeschutesFan, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

iL0VEbeer, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of RelentlessLefty
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

RelentlessLefty, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of Danny1217
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Danny1217, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.

Pours a deep black colour, with a fine, slightly inconsistent pale brown head. Carbonation is fine, but the body itself looks surprisingly light and fluid. Some patchy carbonation. Looks fine except for the body—this is the beer you can really make thick, oily and chewy, and it seems this hasn't happened here.

Nose is wonderful. Big sweet nutty characters with deep chocolate hints and a lilt of buttered popcorn. Slight hint of liquorice on the back, perhaps more like liquorice ice cream. It's all really quite sweet and fragrant, and very pleasant.

Taste is also very good: here the sweetness is tamed somewhat (perhaps due to the slightly lighter body), and the liquorice comes through a little bit more. This leaves the roasted characters to make a bit more of an entrance, with some mild coffee and toasted grain overtones. Perhaps I was unfair on the lightness in the body: it's perhaps a purposeful (and rather clever) stroke to enliven the palate and keep the sweet richness from overpowering everything.

The feel is very smooth, even despite the lightness, and matches very nicely with the rest of the beer.

Yep. Pretty exceptional stuff here, although the mastery and skill of Sierra Nevada should have stopped surprising me years ago. This beer gives the impression that it was designed exactly this way—it perhaps doesn't take the risks that could make it superlative, but you understand that this beer from the moment of its conception was going to be very good indeed.

lacqueredmouse, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of TrayD
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

TrayD, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of Rau71
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Rau71, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of Plasmamonkey
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Plasmamonkey, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of JOrtt
4/5  rDev -3.6%

JOrtt, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of dunix
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

dunix, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of JCaweinstein
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black with a one finger tan head. The head has some big bubbles forming and dissipates to a thin layer fairly quickly.
This smells of cocoa and coffee throughout the drinking experience and also picks up the hint of alcohol as the beer gets closer to room temperature.
This stout is all about malts and it is delicious. I'm getting dark chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. It is a rather sweet tasting stout and is perfect for the cold night I'm drinking it on.
This is a full bodied beer that is smooth up front and picks up the alcohol heat as it warms.
It's about time that that Sierra Nevada made an Imperial Stout! This is an easily available, top notch stout by one of Americas finest breweries.

JCaweinstein, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of allstar255
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

allstar255, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

You rated this beer. Add a review.

, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of losdizzel
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great brew from Sierra Nevada brewing company .
Poured into Sam Adams glass .
Very very black and thickish head disapates quickly then lacing left behind .
smells of sharp alcohol bight and molasses .
Taste thin ,and sweet ,to pour soo thick .
stays on the back of the throat ,53 degrees
Tart tangy and well rounded plesantly warming
very nice beer .
top notched Imperial Stout one of my favorite styles .

losdizzel, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012, 12 ounce bottle, allowed to warm quite a bit.

Pours near black, dark tan mini head, tiny bubble film, slight collar and nice fine low sheeting with strands of lacing.

Nose is loaded with dark chocolate, and mild coffee.

Very tasty, ejoyable and smooth RIS. Waves of chocolate, just ground fresh coffee, as well as some vanilla sweetness. Velvety smooth on the tongue and coating the mouth. Put it all together and this is truly great stuff.

Went prefectly with a chocolate Xmass desert bon bon kinda thing

Billolick, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of ToasterChef
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cellar temperature bottle poured into a small snifter.

It is a black beer with a small brown foam head. Lots of foam and film left behind when I swirl my glass.

It is has a big roasted malt aroma with some hints of chocolate. There is a s lightly boozy quality to the nose, but it isn't off-putting.

This is a very roasty beer! Lots of roasted, nearly burnt malts. A good amount of alcohol in the finish helps this beer feel very warm. There are some cocoa flavors that can be tasted once you get past the roasted malts.

As I said above, the beer is very warming. It has a small but sticky film that retains a small amount of sweetness. and a touch of burnt malts. The body is thick and carbonation is low.

This is a great winter Imperial stout. It's strong and warming and not too sweet. the roasted flavors make me want to drink this in front of an open fire. I'll get more of this beer.

ToasterChef, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of musicman7070
4/5  rDev -3.6%

musicman7070, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours black/very dark brown, topped with a couple fingers of rich mocha head. This retains with a smooth ½ finger, leaving back a robust and sudsy looking cascade of patchy lacing. The aroma smells of chocolate fudge, coffee, dark cherries, a touch of licorice and some spicy sweetness from the alcohol. This smells delicious.

The taste is pretty aggressive with flavor. Bitter citric hops spread out, mingling with sweet notes of cocoa and caramel, before things segue into ripe dark fruit across the back. Roasted coffee character is scattered throughout, leaving zippy espresso on the finish and then finally a deep lingering charred feel. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a firm prickliness that is overlaid on top of a slick chewiness underneath. You get just the right amount of beefy warmth from that 10% ABV here, which hangs just a touch of lingering fusel spice and sweetness on the tongue after each sip.

For an off-the-shelf and reasonably priced RIS from a major brewery, this was pretty damn solid! There is lots of flavor and complexity here and this just feels like it’s going to age marvelously over the years. I need to grab some more of this for the cellar before it’s gone.

Kegatron, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of inlimbo77
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8oz taster pour
Mini pint glass
Two Stones Pub, Newark, DE

A: This pours out a completely dark black color. No light getting through. Thin layer of tan head that hangs around for a while. Some lacing bits. Getting some alcohol feet, but harder to see on this little pint glass.

S: Sweet and Dark chocolate on the nose. Some nice roasted malts and coffee. Very pleasant stout character.

T: Big roast character. Dark chocolate. Creamy flavors.

M: Full bodied. Nice and creamy/oily mouthfeel. Easy to drink.

inlimbo77, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of 1234Jack
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Finally ponied up the $10 for the 4-pack for a Christmas party.

That ABV is pretty insane.

Label art is awesome.

Sweet malt smell out of bottle.

Poured into glass, head is brown, modest but present.

Colors are black with hint of reddish tinge at the bottom of the glass.

Smell out of glass is sweet malt.

First taste is chocolate coffee.

Smooth feel. Later bitterness near back of mouth. The alcohol could be overpowering, but I think the nuttiness reels it in, Feels thick with out being too thick. The bubbles feel micro. Seems to suggest a long time in the carbonation stage? The carbonation seems more infused with the beer. Maybe this is just an effect of the thickness of the drink.

I understand this is an Imperial Stout, and I know how well stouts are loved on this site, but it's not my favorite style. I can't give this a 5 until I try more stouts. I still like Hopworks Belgian Style Abbey and Optimator better...

1234Jack, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of RandyBoBandy
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

RandyBoBandy, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of PaulUH
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

PaulUH, Dec 27, 2012
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,763 ratings.